Research from Hermes shows some of the interesting and unusual places consumers choose to use their smart devices to shop online this Christmas, as Mark Pettit explains.

In terms of the peak season, the industry has now reached fever pitch.

With only a couple of weeks to go before Big Saint Nick arrives in town, consumers are hurriedly stomping up and down high streets across the land, as well as jumping online at every opportunity to find the perfect presents for their friends and family.

In fact, our recent research – based on the behaviour of 2,000 UK shoppers and a further 1,000 each from both France and Germany – shows just how far people are now willing to go to shop online.

We asked individuals from across the three countries to share the strangest places they have bought online and we had a lot of fun reading the results.

Interesting choices for online shopping

Many people think of the toilet as a place for privacy and solitude where they don’t want to be disturbed – and we now know the main reason is that they could be indulging in some retail therapy.

46% of shoppers from both the UK and France said they shop on the loo, proving that it’s more than just a flash in the pan, while only 30% of German shoppers bought while sitting on the throne.

We also learnt that UK consumers could be neglecting their partners in the lead up to Christmas.

Almost 80% said they were jumping into bed, but only to shop online. In comparison, the Germans are most likely to enjoy some festive fumbling with only 58% people admitting to buying online.

To me it comes as no surprise to hear that UK consumers top the charts when it comes to shopping in unusual places.

The research also revealed that more than twice as many Brits (23%) are using smartphones and tablets to shop online compared with the Germans (11%) and the French (9%).

Of the British shoppers buying in strange locations almost two thirds (63%) used these devices, again significantly higher than our French (49%) and German (32%) counterparts.

Smartphones and tablets facilitate online shopping

Of course, the statistics from this section of our international shopping survey are just for fun, but they do highlight how the rise in online shopping has been assisted by the growing accessibility of smartphones and tablets.

A laptop may still be the most popular device for ordering online, but retailers should note that consumers from across all three markets use on average two devices to access the internet each evening.

Therefore the industry should prioritise the development of responsive websites that provide full functionality and provide a seamless customer experience on laptops, as well as smartphones and tablets.

Over the last few months, the Hermes team has taken the opportunity on this blog to discuss findings from The 2014 Parcel Deliveries Usage and Attitude Survey, focusing on returns, delivery preferences of different age groups, and how the UK is taking the European lead when it comes to shopping online.

We have now also published two new industry whitepapers that explore the results of the study. You can download ‘Making the Final Mile Count’ and ‘Taking the Pain Out of Returns’, by visiting here.

Hermes infographic

  • Mark Pettit is sales and marketing director at Hermes